My family lived in Rainham from 1946 until about 1976.  I was 8 when we arrived and remember the place vividly as it was until I drifted away at the age of 13, first to go to school in Rochester, then university, then overseas.  My sister Mary was 1 when we moved in, and my other sister Susan was born during the severe winter of 1947 which got Rainham in its grip as everywhere else. We lived first in 93 Broadview Avenue near the Church Path, then 73 Orchard Street opposite the boys’ school.  My family were not therefore ‘natives’ of Rainham.  We came there because my father was in the Royal Marines and spent his last 5 years of service in Chatham.  It is worth recalling that at this time the Medway area was dominated by the navy, the dockyard and the industries and firms which supported it.  The place was full of sailors, marines and dockyard ‘mateys’, the arrival of some of whom in search of a more pleasant rural life-style accounted for Rainham’s growth in the pre- and post-war periods.


As other people have noted on this website, Rainham was then still essentially a village surrounded to the east and south by orchards, hop gardens, fields and woods.  The beginnings of suburbanisation had begun on the Gillingham side with the development of two ‘new’ (actually pre-war) areas, one bounded by the A2, Hamilton Road, Nursery Road and Maidstone Road, the other  – on the other side of Maidstone Road – made up of Tudor Grove, Broadview Avenue, Herbert Road and (the incomplete) Arthur Road.  The war had stopped all this in its tracks, but it was, of course to start up again with a vengeance in the 1960s.


At the beginning our lives were focussed on the village.  At first, I went to St Margaret’s C of E Primary School at the top of Station Road.  This was a substantial two-storey building of brick and flint with a tree in the grounds and concrete steps outside leading to the upper floor where the senior pupils were taught by the headmaster. Mr Turner.  Below, the infants and juniors were taught, first by the wonderful Miss List (who used to send someone out on Friday afternoons to buy the latest edition of Enid Blyton’s ‘Sunny Stories’ from which, to our delight, she then read stories about elves and fairies.  As we progressed, we were entrusted to the more formidable but still likeable Miss ‘Fanny’ Evans.   One thing I remember vividly was the daily arrival of crates of free, very cold milk in tiny bottled with fascinating metal tops, which we drank through straws.  I went to the Sunday School too, and was taught by Mr Denis, an admirable and devout man, heavily tanned and with a broad accent who was said to be the captain of a Medway barge.  He provided the music for the hymns with his squeeze box.  I think he was the brother of the Mr Denis who ran the butcher’s shop just down Station Road.  The vicar, Mr Jordan, turned up occasionally.  I don’t remember him that well: but I remember vividly his tiny grey coloured, Austin seven car.


Thinking of the butcher raises another matter.  The immediate post-war period was a time of real austerity.  No-one had any money, we all looked shabby and everything was rationed.  Every Saturday morning, I remember, Mr Denis’s butcher’s boy would arrive on his bike with a basket on the front containing the tiny roll of beef (called hilariously ‘the Sunday joint’) that we were allowed, and which had to last for ages.  A result of this was that every back garden was devoted to growing vegetables or soft fruits, and had chicken runs or rabbit hutches to supplement the food supply.  We had six Rhode Island Reds which gave us eggs and the occasional Xmas dinner.  Chicken in those days was a rare luxury – not the cheap common-a-garden meat it is today.   My memories of the local sweet shops (notably for me, Parker’s - just round from the bottom of Orchard Street) were coloured by this.  They may have been full of delights, but in my day what we could buy was rationed and when, to our delight, sweet rationing was abolished (1950 odd) the demand was so great that they had to put it on again!  There was no central heating either.  Even when you could get enough coal or wood to keep the fire going, I regularly used to wake up of a winter’s morning with ice on the inside of my bedroom window!  Rainham was also the site of my first real disappointment in life.  During the war bananas had been impossible to get and the news that they were to be available again produced joy and enthusiasm.  I remember standing in Orchard Street when a friend suddenly produced this strange looking yellow thing – so unattractive and different from the exotic and succulent delicacy of our imaginations.  We didn’t know what to do with it.  Eventually we realised we had to peel it: but even them we were unimpressed and couldn’t work out what all the fuss had been about. 


As everyone will tell you, we had to make a lot of our own amusements.  There was no TV (a few sets only appeared in the middle 1950s) but we made the most of the wireless, listening mostly to comedy programme’s like ‘ITMA’ and ‘Much Binding in the Marsh’ and Wilfred Pickles’ popular quiz show:  ‘Give ‘em the Money Barney’ he would say as he dished out the equivalent of 10p to the lucky winner.  Not like now.  Working the radio wasn’t that easy.  Our set was powered by rows of big square glass containers of chemicals called ‘accumulators’ which presumably produced electricity and were linked to the set by complex wiring.  We weren’t submerged in 24 hour sport and entertainment like today and things such as the Boat Race, the Grand National, the Test Match, the Boat Race and the Cup Final were significant national events which we all looked forward to..  Apart from the Coronation, the only time I saw TV was to watch the Boat Race and the Blackpool-Bolton Wanderers Cup Final when Stanley Matthews finally won his cup winners’ medal. By contrast to Wayne Rooney, Matthews probably earned about £10 a week.


For us children, there was plenty to enjoy.  We used to go down to the Chalk Pit in Berengrave Lane to find newts and come back with sticklebacks and tadpoles in jam jars.  There were the wonderful Rainham Woods to play cowboys and Robin Hood in: they seemed huge and started just south of the fields near Arthur Road and filled the space between Wigmore and Jack Clark’s farm and hop gardens in Meirscourt Road.  For entertainment, there was Saturday morning pictures for kids at the Royal Rainham – the famous Bughutch – where, when not charging about the aisles and yelling our heads off to the despair of the manager, we enjoyed a diet of westerns, cartoons and historical epics like ‘The Sea Wolf’ and ‘The Four Feathers’.  In the summer and autumn there were the delights of scrumping for apples, cherries and plums. At that time there was nothing but orchards, fields, fruit trees and sheep east of the Church Path, which ran from the eastern end of the churchyard up past the end of Tudor Grove, Broadview Avenue and Herbert Road then across a scruffy bit of waste land with damson bushes to the Woods.  Summer Sundays brought idyllic afternoons watching Rainham Cricket team in their spectacular tree-surrounded pitch in Berengrave Lane.  Then, in the evenings we had the pleasure of lining the A2 opposite the Cricketer’s to jeer at the Londoners in cars and coaches who were crawling back through the village bumper to bumper after a day trip to Margate.  Autumn brought the conker season (the best ones were obtained by throwing sticks into the horse chestnut trees in front of the church) and Guy Fawkes day.  Always misty, we used to let off bangers, squibs, roman candles and rockets in our back garden then go to the huge ‘formal’ bonfire which had been built on nearby waste ground.  Ours was in the space where Arthur Road ended.  There were also the attractions of the 20th Medway (Rainham) Scout troop.  I joined for the glamour of the uniform and the ten gallon hat which I wore in the style of cowboy idle, Roy Rogers.  The scout hut was near the gate of the cricket ground.  I don’t remember doing much but learnt how to do lots of useful things with rope and string.


Class at Camp School 1953

A significant event occurred in 1947-8.  The population of Rainham must have been growing, so the powers that be decided to open a new primary school in Maidstone Road (on a rise just opposite Highfield Road).  I and, I imagine all the children who lived in the area south of the main road in the ‘pre-war’ developments, were moved from the C of E Primary School to the new one.  It was called the ‘Camp School’ because it occupied the timber huts and facilities of an old army camp which was on the site.  Its playground was a bit of rough pasture close to Rainham Woods.  The first Headmaster was nice Mr Rivers who had been involved with military music in the war and had managed to get hold of a battered set of brass instruments – so we had a complete school band.  We gave concerts – one of which I and my fellow cornetist, John Norris, messed up by playing ‘John Peel’ so fast that the others could not keep up.  Another of Mr Rivers’ obsessions was Gilbert and Sullivan.  One concert was devoted to excerpts from ‘HMS Pinafore’ with myself singing Sir Joseph Porter.  Other memorable teachers were Mr Burroughs (smart in tie, green jacket, beige cavalry twill trousers and shiny brown boots), Mr Palmer, and Mr Smith – a sardonic type whose teaching technique had been learnt when he was a Physical Training Instructor in the navy and hadn't changed.  He always referred to the ground as ‘the deck’ and called us ‘Boy!’


I enjoyed the Camp School but I don’t think it did much for the social cohesion of Rainham. At that time every British community seemed to be filled with petty snobberies and imaginary or real social gradations: most streets contained people who thought they were better and posher than those in the next.  Early soaps (like Coronation Street and East Enders – before broadcasters developed the idea that neighbourliness was about crime and confrontation – were all based on these tensions.. Thus we who lived in the largely semi-detached prewar developments south of the Main Road tended to look down on the more working class inhabitants who lived in the terraces and housing estates between the Main Road and the railway; while looking up with awe at the middle class office workers who lived in the detached residences and bungalows up Maidstone Road and around Wigmore.  Now Rainham had three primary schools catering separately for each group!  The Camp School obviously benefitted from this more privileged clientele and there were some very bright little girls like Sheila Marriot and Laura Something who were mad on ‘Swallows and Amazons’ and insisted on being called ‘Susan; and ‘Titty’ after the heroines of that work.  Not knowing - in those days of innocence - what these words actually meant, we obliged.  We boys were more interested in ‘Ripping Yarns’ of British pluck against shifty foreigners written by people like Percy F Waterman.


There were also a number of squatters still living in the more remote bits of the old camp.  These were people who had been bombed out in London or the Medway towns during the war and had moved into the first empty property they could find.  At the Camp School gate lived one such family called Pickering who had a boy who was a fellow pupil.  His grandfather lived with him and we were thrilled (having just seen ‘The Four Feathers’ at the Bughutch) to learn that this old man had actually been in the thin red line at the Battle of Omdurman outside Khartoum in 1898 when Kitchener had defeated the Sudanese and avenged General Gordon!


It was at the Camp School that they discovered I was short sighed.  I have worn glasses ever since, and my first pair was supplied by Patrick Duff who had just opened a practice on the rise past the Post Office and Ivy Street.  Mr Duff was youngish and pleasant with a grey suit and a little moustache.  In fact he looked and dressed very much like the Reed brothers who ran the barber’s shop next to Cremer’s and Rainham Radio and opposite the Bughutch.  The brothers wore suits and had little moustaches and hair gleaming with Bryllcreme.  They bore a strong resemblance to Private Walker in Dad’s Army (though without the spivery.)  Both had been captured outside Dunkirk and had spent the whole of the war in German prison camps.  I remember that, between  the snip-snips, they regaled us with stories of crossing Germany in cattle trucks and being told by confident guards what they intended to do to Mr Churchill when they successfully invaded Britain!


The different social circumstances of the three Rainham primary schools however were not reflected in the results. Strangely, hardly any boys from the area passed the 11 plus examination and we all found ourselves at the Secondary Modern School in Orchard Street.  In those days, of course, the state education system was divided into three parts – the Grammar schools which took the academically gifted who were destined for ‘professional’ jobs at the age of 11; the Technical Schools (filled by another selection process at 13) which prepared for middle grade engineering and technical careers; and the Moderns which the rest attended, the majority destined for ordinary working class jobs.


I must admit that to have ‘failed’ the 11 plus examination was a source of some shame – especially when we met those who had passed wearing their smart Grammar School uniforms.  Theoretically therefore, the Orchard Street Secondary Modern should have been ‘bog standard’ and bottom of the educational heap.   But I can say most emphatically that it was not.  Obviously it taught non-academic subjects like woodwork, metalwork, mechanical drawing, book binding, pottery and gardening – indeed I have been grateful for the grounding it gave me in these practical skills ever since – but academically (in the A streams at any rate) what was taught and the way it was taught was little different to what took place in (for example) the Mathematical School in Rochester.  (I know this because I was transferred to it at the age of 13)  The only real difference was that at Rainham we did not do languages.  Likewise the whole tone of the school was disciplined and purposeful.  The Headmaster, Mr RAF Bacon MSc, ran it like any ‘normal’ secondary school, was treated with enormous respect by all, and set the tone by walking the corridors dressed in his academic gown.  He was strict and there was always the cane in reserve for delinquents.  Not that there were many of those: I have little recollection of bullying or rowdiness.


Mr Bacon was supported by a team of teachers, many of whom had just left the forces or had recently graduated.  Mr Brown, the Games Master, had been in the navy in the Med and had a large metal tag on his key ring stamped ‘Commander’s Cabin’; the two teachers of metalwork (I forget their names) had both been RN Engine Room Artificers; Mr Castell had been in the RAF; Mr Springall had been in the Royal Marine Band.  The last taught music and ran the school choir.  He was a keen Salvationist and was Bandmaster to the Salvation Army Citadel in Gillingham.  I remember him taking the choir there where we sang ‘All in the April Evening.’  Other memorable teachers were Ernie Rotherham, a short north countryman who taught pottery and book binding; the perpetually relaxed Bert Newall who did art; and Mr Patterson who taught us gardening.  He was very devout and ran a bible reading group which I joined (shamefully in order to be able to wear the little green enamel badge with a silver lamp on it which all members were given). He later left to become a missionary in Uganda.  On the more academic side, here was Percy Johns, red faced and tweedy, who introduced us to history; while English was the preserve of two University of Wales graduates and brothers, Rhys Williams and Haydn Williams, both of whom were tall and thin and rode huge ‘sit up and beg’ bicycles.  There were class trips too – all by bicycle.  One was to Sharp’s Toffee Factory in Maidstone (the sweet smell put us off confectionary for weeks) and another all the way to Canterbury.  I returned with two old cavalry sabres which I had bought for the equivalent of 25p each tied to my crossbar.


When I went to school in Rochester I gradually lost touch with Rainham. I got home late and had to leave home early to catch the bus (either the green Maidstone and District number 26 - Faversham to Gravesend - which went past my new school but trailed all round Gillingham; or the Brown Chatham Traction Co. number 2 which went down Chatham Hill but only went as far as the Town Hall).  And at the weekend I was obsessed with homework.  In the holidays however I was still around and, like many people in Rainham and district spent the summer working on local farms (in my case Jack Clarks’).  There were cherries, apples and plums to be picked and hops to be gathered.  Local families went together to the many hop gardens in the area and had a three week paid holiday in the fresh air picking them.  This involved working their way slowly along rows of hop plants, standing as they pulled the bines down from the wires on which they grew, then sitting to pull off the hops and heap them in huge bins made of sacking.  The quantity picked (and the amount earned) was checked, and the bins emptied regularly.  My father and I worked as ‘Pole Pullers’, in charge of a dozen rows of hops (and the families who were picking them) and equipped with a twelve foot pole with a knife at the end.  Our job was to make sure the pickers did not hide the smaller hops (payment was by volume) and to cut down any bines which got stuck at the top of the wire.  Some of the women in the hop garden were a pretty rough lot and, as a young male teenager I came in for a lot of banter and lewd innuendo replete with suggestions about what I could do with my pole which had nothing to do with hops. Hops were waxy with a distinct smell which could not be easily removed.  For weeks we just stank!


Brian Vale


#24 mary middleton 2019-08-03 04:34
Can any member of the Maitland society remember a woman by the name of Annie Gould who was a war widow from Darlington, married Henry Daniel Gould in 1940, worked in the Sharpe Toffee factory in the 1950's. She was born on the 30 May 1916, maiden name Anne Middleton. Please contact the writer if you knew of a lady of this description. She was our long lost aunty. Mary Middleton.
#23 Catherine Fraser 2019-03-30 19:21
Loved reading the memoir. It brought back so many terrific memories. I went to the Camp School with Angela Turner, Mary Beckenham and Christine Cross, all of us born in 1942. I believe Christine has a brother called Roger. My family had lived in Eastcourt Lane but had to move in 1946 to the prefabs. We lived at 1 Burton Green. Part of the time, my mother sent me back to Twydall Lane Primary School, where I had first started. I don’t know why she did this. In 1956, we moved to Strood. My fondest childhood memories are of playing up the woods in the Den and rolling down the hillside outside the Den in the springtime. The woods were literally blanketed with bluebells in the spring. I loved walking down the pathway between St. Mary’s Church and the orchards. I remember seeing the lambs being born every spring. Also, shouted at the Sunday charabangs returning from Margate with the Londoners. Many people looked down on the children in the prefabs but my parents told me to ignore that!
#22 Julia coles 2019-03-04 00:10
I am researching my family history.
By coincidence my grandparents Richard and Florence Wiles lived at 93 Broadview Ave..... I wonder if you sold the house to them ? I believe they lived there with their son Larry from about 1953, although it may have been slightly later.
Also, does anyone remember the Smallholdings in Wigmore or The Black and White stores in
Rochester /Chatham ?
#21 Fred king 2018-10-02 18:29
:lol: went to St Margaret's 1952/56
#20 Fred king 2018-10-02 18:16
I went to St Margaret's c of e school from 1952 to 1956
#19 Barbara Tottman 2017-12-23 05:50
Reply to Margaret: My Tottman Grandparents lived in Nursery Rd. My parents Harry & Ruby (Mudge) Tottman lived next door to you, in Maidstone Road from 1939 - 1952.- starting school at first at Solomon Rd, then the Camp School, followed by Orchard Street, passing at 13 to go to Chatham Technical for Girls. I also remember Mr Rivers, Mr Burrows at the Camp School and the Pirates of Penzance performance! Mr Andrews had the butchers shop at the bottom of Maidstone Rd/London Road. His family lived across the road from us. I have fond memories of the schools,hop fields,orchards. From Rainham my family moved to Herne Bay, where I met my husband, Robin & I left for British Colombia,Canada in 1974 with our two sons. Returning many times to Kent to visit family and friends, including this year 2017.
#18 Andy Lees 2017-10-16 07:43
Hi Brian
Well done! This is a very interesting article about your younger years in Rainham.
My father in law was Mr Frederick Palmer who used to teach at the Camp school and later taught at Fairview Juniors.
#17 margaret gaskin 2017-07-23 14:29
hi my name is Margaret gaskin nee cresser I spent a short time at the camp school and because I was left handed they tried to get me to change hands so my mum took me away and I went back to st margarets school until I was eleven then we moved to chatham by the way I am still left handed
#16 Barbara STURE 2017-03-03 07:27
Thanks for the memories Brian. I lived in Station Road as a young child from 1944/5 until 1959. I returned to marry in St. Margaret's church in 1961. My former surname was Morris and I had two elder sisters. Margaret and Joyce. We lived just below the station gates in Station Road (the poorer end of town) lol. My father was one of the railway signalmen who operated the gates and worked in the tiny signal box . I live in Australia now. Happy memories, thanks.
#15 Jacqueline Davis 2016-04-20 20:47
Hi, does anyone remember the Sayer Family from Rainham. please My Grandfather was Winston Churchill Sayer. The Sayers had all lived in Rainham since the 1700 s.
#14 Nora S Suddarth 2016-04-20 19:22
I was born Oct 18 1938 on Roberts Road - lived at 1 Thames Ave from the age of 1 year until my family left to live in the states in 1948. I attended the Church School, The Camp School (performed in HMS Pinafore) and also attended. Solomon Road School. I do remember my mother going to a butchers shop at the corner of Maidstone road and the old roman road. Vies grocery, the chestnut trees and so much more.
#13 liz 2016-03-15 11:37
Just trying to find out if any one know my aunty Annie Gould from Maidstone Kent who worked for sharp toffee factory for many many years. She was born 1916 in darlington and married 1940 darlington to Henry Daniel Robert gould son of Henry Herbert Gould and Clara Gould.
#12 jean road nee black 2016-01-24 10:49
Interesting article about Rainham.I was born 1935 William street,went to Orchard Street school from where l went onto collage and qualified as a Teacher.So I have fond memories of the school,hop fields,orchards where my parents,worked hard at holiday times to earn extra money.Yes and I remember the stigma instigated by the new comers to the area but ignored it. Jean.
#11 liz 2014-08-19 14:07
Just wondering if any one could tell me please if they recall the sharps toffee factory in Maidstone Kent in 1940s. I have an aunty working there called Annie Gould who married a henry Daniel Robert gould from Maidstone son
of Henry Herbert and Clara Gould. Just wondering if anyone could give me any updates on this please. Thanks liz
#10 vernon verraii 2014-04-27 16:03
A good piece,well done.Iwas at the school same time as Colin Woodruff.
#9 Sandy Piper 2014-02-27 21:35
My name is Sandy.nee Valentine, I loved the article took me back in time to the best days of my life.....I also went to the camps hool then to Fairview as we lived in the newly built houses in Arthur Road. We would jump over our fences at the back of the garden and we were in the woods, we played in what we called the Little den and the Big Den our neighbours were the Warns-one side Blatchfords the other then the Breens down the road and Eatons all us kids played together and went to beaches at the weekends...good ol days.... Rainham was a safe and united place then
#8 Stuart 2014-02-01 20:14
Hello, Brian.

I am glad you mentioned the Pickering family because I knew them ; they lived in what I imagine was the old Army Guardroom ; as you say, at the entrance to the Camp. My family moved to the Camp at the end of the war, when my father had been demobbed. We stayed until about 1954, when I think the entire site was demolished to make way for Bettescombe Road and the surrounding estate.

I didn't see the new estate until the mid-sixties, when I paid a visit. I must say that I am so disappointed that no road has been named after the dear old Camp. I can understand how the locals would be glad to be rid of it - and of the soldiers and the 'squatters' - but the Camp and it's school are important parts of Rainham's history.

I have a fair list of names, from the school and the Camp residents, should you be interested. I remember with particular gratitude a number of the families who lived thereabouts.

Thank you for your memoir.
#7 ted page 2014-01-08 16:57
peter Adams the ice cream man was toni demashio hes still about his mum and dad owned ice cream parlour in skinner street gillingham now looknow shop ted ex 1c (1960) mr brown
#6 Richard Stevens 2013-08-05 09:47
**Can anyone tell me how to contact Brian Vale ? as I need to contact him.**
My email address is **
#5 Richard Stevens 2013-08-02 11:41
Brilliant recollections Brian. I remember you, please make contact!
Richard Stevens
#4 Peter Adams 2013-05-08 21:58
Hello Brian, I enjoyed reading your article and it stirred up a few memories for me too. I was born in the High Street in 1949 and went to Station Road School from 1954 – 1960. Then onto Orchard Street School 1960 – 1964. My Memories of Orchard Street are :-
Headmaster, “Rasher” Bacon, Drove an Austin Westminster, very fitting to his status, and had the first parking spot nearest his office.
Mr Thomas “Saucepan” Deputy Head and Science teacher.
Bert Newall, Art Teacher, lived the bottom of Maidstone Road.
Benjy Patterson, I believe he had a light blue bubble car, Taught Geography, after school it was Scripture Union and Sudaneers as you mentioned, I still have the green badge and the blue Africa shaped badge. I loved the films he used to show about Australia and as such I have lived in Adelaide South Australia since 1970.
Mr Sneath “Sneebo” and Mr Thompson (Dennis) taught Woodwork and Mr Thompson also ran the sailing club building a sailing boat up in the back shed top left hand corner of the playground.
Mr Clark “Nobby” drove a grey Jaguar and taught Metalwork and Technical Drawing, grey haired man.
Mr Haw “Hitler” Taught English, very upright foreign sounding Man.
Mr Poad “Tom” Also rode a Scooter, scruffy hippy type man who also taught English.
Mr MaGee, taught PE and other subjects I can’t remember.
Mr Carden “Jumbo” (room 4) Taught “A” stream Maths.
Mr Barnes (Ken) a new comer. Black Triumph Herald. My Form Master in 4B, taught Maths. A very small blonde haired Man, I was already 6ft 2in tall at this stage.
Mr Powell, he taught Science.
Now up to the Huts..... Mr Gibbs, (Arthur I believe) Ran the Library and taught English, rode a Scooter.
Mr Rotherham, “Eric” Small man taught Craft and Sport, very good footballer. Very hard to get along with this teacher.
Mr Pearce “Fred” Oldish Man taught Gardening.
Mr Springate “Alf” I believe he is your Mr Springall? Drove a green MGA sports car. Music Teacher and Qualified Football Referee. Lead the Choir and Orchestra, I was in both.
Mr Brown. Taught Religious Instruction and PE. He used to attend the Methodist fellowship meetings at my Grandparents house at 60 High Street.
Another new comer was Mr Monk an ex Military man I believe, taught PE and was there when the new Trampoline arrived.
Mr Stephens “Bomber” had left before I arrived thank goodness, what a reputation this man had.
And not forgetting Mr Millgate, the groundsman, he was also a Rainham
“Toni” the Ice Cream Man outside the gate.
This is all I can remember at this stage and I throw it open for others to confirm or correct as they see fit. Love to see comments.
Regards...Peter Adams, Adelaide, South Australia
(currently in the UK for 3 month Holiday).
#3 Colin woodruff 2013-05-07 23:00
Hi, Thank you for putting these words together they have brought back many memories as I also went to the Camp School and Orchard Street.
Born in 1944 and lived at 142 Maidstone rd. Moved to Elmstone rd when the new estate was built over the old camp school.

Shared many of the things you mentioned including the old chalk pits pretty dangerous as i recall.

Now living in Midlands for my sins.
#2 Paula 2013-02-25 22:16
Hi my name is Paula nee Nebbs and I was looking for some information and maybe photos of the camp school. I don't remember it well, as when I discussed it with my sister who is 4 years older than me, I would only have gone for a short while before attending Fairview. I was born in 1954, but I can't remember when Fairview school was opened. Have you got any photos? Your article was very interesting.
#1 mike hearn 2012-11-16 21:11
My name is michael hearn and i spent just a year in orchard street school in 1954-55.
Cant say it was my happiest time, i well remember Ernie Rotheram who took us for pottery and cricket ,he was a nasty bit of work,very unpleasant but Mr Bacon the Head was a gentlemen.
I left Rainham for Windsor and it was the best move my parents ever made.

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